How to play Watermelon Man on harmonica

Jul 19, 2017 | Backing Track, Intermediate Harmonica Lessons, Licks, Songs

This is a lesson on how to play “Watermelon Man” by Herbie Hancock. You will need a harmonica in the key of B flat and we are playing in 2nd position. If you want to hear what the whole thing should sound like you can see me playing it here.




Lick 1

Lick 2

Lick 3

Lick 4

Lick 5

Full Tune

Backing Track

Jumping around

There is a lot of jumping around in this tune. For example, in the 1st lick you are jumping from the 5 draw to the 2 draw. This is something that a lot of harmonica players don’t do very often and it is really worthwhile practicing. Practice slowly at first and make sure that you make the jump accurately without hitting anything notes either side.

If you want a good exercise to practice jumping around on the harmonica here is a lesson I did on hole skipping.

16 bar blues

Interestingly, this tune is a variation on a 12 bar blues. You will notice that it is 16 bars instead. Bars 9 and 10 are repeated 3 times which makes for an interesting repetition effect. I will be showing this section in next week’s lesson.

Introduction to Improvisation eCourse

If you want to find a little bit more about improvising on the harmonica then click here to find out about my ‘Introduction to Improvisation’ eCourse.

Thank you

Thank you so much for taking part in this lesson. I hope it was useful for you. If you enjoyed this lesson, please share it with your friends.

See you again for the next harmonica video!

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